One of my all time favorite fictional characters Hermione Granger thrives on a good test. Her character is notorious for being "clever" and "book smart" and for a very long time, I tried to model myself after her. I would sit at the front of class and raise my hand a lot. Whenever there was an awkward silence in class, I would thrust my fist in the air to answer, even though I had been the only one answering most of the questions in the first place. I dubbed it "Hermione Granger syndrome." When I would sit down to do homework, I would think, "What would Hermione do?" and attempt to get ahead of my work and be the smartest person around.
Now, I don't try to base everything I do around a fictional character. I would say that I'm a lot more involved in the "real world" and don't live in the fictional fantasy worlds I used to inhabit in my youth (at least not as often as before).
In high school, though I was trying super hard to be Hermione, I would never really study but always manage to do well on tests. Now that I'm in college, I seem to have carried over that same mentality. This past semester, the night before the only final exam I had to take (at 8AM in the morning), I decided it would be a brilliant idea to host a party and stayed up until about 3AM escorting people out of my apartment.
Somehow, though I had not been to class most of the semester, avoided the readings like the plague, brought my computer to class and played games instead of paying attention, copied my homework and online quizzes off friends I had made and skipped my lab nearly every other week, I still managed to score a 77 out of 100 on the test. While a 77 is not the best grade, considering the lack of work I put into it, I'm quite proud of myself.
In high school, I remember teachers constantly waxing philosophical about how "college is so hard, the professors won't stand for late work, you need to put tons of hours into a class to even consider passing, etc. etc..." I think the teachers were trying to manipulate us into working harder, standards at college have been lowered or the teachers at MHS were delusional.
While paper tests may not be the hardest thing in the world to score an easy grade on (that sounds almost sexual) I can't help but wonder about the other tests that we as people face all the time.
The tests of relationships, friendship, financially, conflicts, and of course the test that comes with being a good person.
When I think of the test that comes with being a good person, there are two quotes I found over the years that come to mind.
"The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble human individual- for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost."
The above was stated by Anonymous- one of the greatest literary writers of all time.
Another quote that I think of comes from Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame.
"In each of us, two natures are at war- the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose- what we want most to be- we are."
While it may be true that I don't really have much to choose from in the ways of good or evil, simple things can be deciding factors in whether you are a really good person, or an alright person with good intentions.
I'd like to think that I am a good person and that I can pass the tests that life throws at me, but I suppose that only time will tell.